Based on an overlooked Tennessee Williams play ,also known as " kingdom on earth";it was not the first time Lumet had filmed a Williams work :"the fugitive kind" in 1960 was not particularly memorable ,a vehicle for the playwright's good friend Anna Magnani.
"Last of"...AKA "blood kin" is ,in spite of a poor rating,a more interesting adaptation :Lumet is at ease when he works in an enclosed place (see for that matter "twelve angry men" "murder on the orient express" "a dog day afternoon" "deathtrap").James Coburn is cast against type as the owner of a southern property which has known better days but the actress is not exactly how Williams depicted her in his play:"a poor man's Marilyn Monroe" .
There are only three characters but interest is sustained till the end with a final unexpected revelation a la "suddenly last Summer" .There are many flashbacks ,not unlike those of Brooks' "cat on a hot tin roof" and the beginning of the movie is a good trick ,a spoof on stupid contests .It was a cinematographic play with its impending flood and its neglected yard where the new wife lets her domestic appliances Interracial triangle in which the Myrtle/Chicken relationship sometimes recalls Blanche /Kowalski;the sexual tension is represented by the rise of waters ,and "to go up on the roof" means "to make love" in Williams' language (it's the last line of the play).
"The seven descents of Myrtle" ("kingdom on earth" ) is to be staged in Paris next September with pop singer Johnny Halliday as the terminally-ill owner,under the French title " LE Paradis Sur Terre".
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